WEST VALLEY CITY Ryan Kinasewich spent a little more than two months up in the American Hockey League playing for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, part of the New York Islanders' chain along with the Utah Grizzlies.
He came back to the Grizzlies the first week of January.
A lot of players would be deflated being sent down. Kinasewich said he welcomed it. He'd played a fair amount when he first went up but then didn't play consistently and said it was a little frustrating.
"It was a great experience, but it's nice to be back in the swing of things getting a regular shift," he said. "I was actually pleased to be sent down."
"You kind of get in a funk a little bit," said Utah coach Jason Christie, understanding Kinasewich's thinking about coming back home, where he's played for 2 1/2 seasons.
For the Grizzlies, he's a star, and in his fourth game back, Kinasewich had a hand in all six goals that the Grizzlies scored to set a club record for points (6) and assists (5) in one game and help Utah break a two-game losing streak with a 6-3 win over the Phoenix RoadRunners to open the second half of the Grizzlies' season.
He is tied for the most prolific all-time scorer against Phoenix with eight goals and 20 assists in 15 games, and he moved into fifth place in all-time Grizzlies' scoring history with 158 career points, needing eight more to step into fourth.
His linemate, Tyler Haskins, claimed a hat trick, the sixth for Utah this season and second on home ice, by scoring into an empty net with :23 left.
"I thought that whole line with Haskins, and we moved (Kazumi) Takahashi up there, I just thought it was good effort from the guys once we woke up after the first," said Christie, referencing the first period, in which Phoenix took a 2-0 lead and outshot Utah 20-9."He's not going to have games like that every night," Christie said, but he added if Kinasewich plays that hard, good things will happen.